Spain's parliament has suspended four Catalan lawmakers elected while facing trial over their role in the failed 2017 push for independence.
In a move that could benefit acting Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez, the four men – who are being held in custody – will no longer be parliamentarians.
Oriol Junqueras, Jordi Turull, Josep Rull and Jordi Sanchez now need to either vacate their seats in parliament, or resign.
Sanchez's Socialists came out on top in last month's general elections, but failed to secure a majority in the assembly.
The suspension could reduce the threshold of an absolute majority that he needs in Congress, or in the lower house, to be sworn in for a second term.
If the lawmakers cede their seats to replacements, Sanchez would once again need the help of Catalan separatist parties to be sworn in.
An investiture vote is expected in the first week of July.